Four Tips to Help Prevent Credit Card Fraud
Most of us have recently heard about the Equifax breach, and many of us have either experienced having a credit card or our identity stolen. Our hearts sink thinking about what we have to do to clear matters like this up.
I did have one of my credit card numbers stolen a couple of years ago. Even though I had my Visa card with me, someone got the number, created an actual card to match the one I had, and charged a taxi cab ride, shoes, and hobby equipment at several places in the Ft. Lauderdale, FL area, totaling more than $500. The credit card company’s fraud department contacted me on a Friday evening to ask me to verify those charges. I was unable to return their call until Saturday; they had paid for the taxi cab ride but declined the shoes and the hobby equipment. I have yet to understand how they picked up on this because I do travel a lot, but I am so glad they did. My old card was canceled. They were going to contact the 3 credit rating companies to explain why the card was canceled, and they issued a new card, which I received the following Monday.
Interestingly enough, the converse of this also happened to me. The fraud department of another one of my credit card companies called me to verify a large amount of travel charges. These charges were valid, but they did contact me because they saw it was out of the ordinary.
Here are four (4) tips that can help you prevent credit card fraud so you don’t have to panic when something like this happens:
- Keep your credit card numbers and contact information in a safe place. If you need that information, you’ll have a place to find it.
- Make a list of the companies where you have established automatic credit card payments. You can contact them as soon as the new card is activated to update the information.
- Keep only those credit cards with you that you plan to use. Leave the rest at home.
- Notify your credit and debit card companies when you are traveling, especially if you are leaving the country and don’t have a chip. Your card won’t be denied if they see a charge from your travel destination.
The Ft. Lauderdale incident was more of an aggravation than anything else. My identity was not stolen, and within 4 days the problem was resolved.
If there is anything else that you have done to keep prevent this from happening to you, please feel free to share.
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